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City working to establish tourism board
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McMinnville officials are moving forward with establishing a Tourism Development Board.
“I’m going to recommend to the mayor that he appoint a special committee to sit down and review the bylaws with me,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle. “We can then come back and make a recommendation to the board.”
Bylaws are an operating manual. Such bylaws will contain the rules by which the Tourism Development Board will conduct business and control the actions of its members, outlines how the group functions, and responsibilities of its officers. It will also include the rules and procedures for holding meetings, electing members, and appointing officers.
Officials approved establishing a Tourism Development Board in November and Pirtle was asked to generate bylaws for board consideration similar to the Industrial Development Board.
The IDB promotes industry in an effort to create jobs, while the TDB will promote tourism in an effort to create jobs. Both have the authority to hold title to property, to convey property, to lease property, and to see property.
To fund the endeavor, officials approved a resolution to charge a 3 percent tax on local motels. Local governments are allowed by state statute to levy a local lodging tax of up to 3 percent as long as the revenue is used to preserve the economy and encourage tourism.
Officials are still waiting for the Tennessee General Assembly to approve the resolution, which is required before the city can enforce the tax. The resolution was sponsored by state Sen. Janice Bowling and will be under consideration by the General Assembly during this session.